Fun Games For The Classroom
So it is almost Chuseok, yaaayyyy!! Seriously, I can’t wait for having a weekend plus 3 days off of school. I mean, I’m probably going to be doing some lesson planning so that I can have something prepared for when we get back but at least I don’t have to get up early.
For anyone that is reading this and doesn’t know what Chuseok is, it is a Korean holiday that celebrates the autumn harvest and pays tribute to ancestors…or something along those lines. When I asked my kids, I kept getting different answers. So since it is almost Chuseok, my lesson this week was light and fun. I guess it wasn’t really a lesson at all; just an informative presentation coupled with some games.
Since Chuseok is compared to the American holiday, Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to tell the students about it. My presentation consisted of a brief (and very simplified) history of Thanksgiving and I made sure that the students did not say Indian. The proper term is Native American. Indians are from India. Native Americans are the indigenous people of the land. In other words, they were there first! But I chose not to go into the violence and gore of what happened after The First Thanksgiving between the Natives and the Pilgrims because I honestly don’t feel I’m a good enough history buff for all of that. I really just wanted to have a set up that led into games.
So after the brief history, I talked about how Thanksgiving is celebrated today (family, togetherness), the foods we eat, how big football is on Thanksgiving Day, and games that families play. I found two family games online that were a definite hit among my first graders (equivalent: 10th grade).
Game #1: Pass the Nut
I found this game on a family and lifestyle blog whose name I can’t remember, unfortunately. For the game, split into two teams and form two lines. Each player has their own pair of chopsticks. Place a bowl of nuts at the front of the two lines and an empty bowl at the back of the two lines. Players are to pass a nut between their chopsticks, down the line, and drop it into the empty bowl at the end. Whichever team passes the most nuts in the time frame wins the round. Any nuts that drop before it reaches the end of the line cannot be picked back up.
I gave my students two minutes to pass as many as they could and for any subsequent rounds, I would give less time. Feel free to give the amount of time you think would garner the most fun. My tenth graders loved this game! If you play this game, be sure to emphasize that they are not allowed to use their hands, only the chopsticks. My kids tried to get around the whole falling on the floor thing by having their hands cradle the chopstick and pick it up out their hands if it fell out the chopstick. But no! It has to pass from chopstick to chopstick without hitting their hands or the floor!
Game #2: The Gobbler Race
This is another game that I found on another blog geared for party games. For this game you will still have two teams standing in their lines. They are to take a paper ball (or any other small and round object) and pass it down the line using their “gobbler” which would be their neck. If the paper falls on the floor then they must start over. Whoever passes the most paper balls wins the game.
My kids actually got all shy and giggly with the paper balls because they felt their faces were too close, so we just used plain, flat sheets of paper instead. My co-teachers even got in on the fun and really had a blast. It’s so funny seeing your Korean co-teacher who is normally quite calm and soft spoken become super competitive and loud and telling the kids to hurry up so that their team can win lol!
Another game that went well was Pictionary. This game is good to help them with their English vocabulary because they can learn words they never knew before. Words like skeleton, principal, jellyfish, and stomach are all good for low level students. My students have a low English level and I noticed that they would talk around the word they were trying to say, which was great. It showed me they were actually trying. Skeleton was a “skull”. Principal was “school leader”. Jellyfish was “octopus” and stomach was “bellybutton”. All are really close and when I would tell them the answer, a chorus of “ooohhhhhh” would sound out around the room lol.
If you are looking for fun games to play in class, these are three that I would suggest. I’m not so sure how well these games would go with kids older than high school 1st years though. When I tried these games with my 2nd graders, it was pretty dull. Only a few of the classes were into it. So these definitely work better for a younger crowd, like middle school.
Well, that’s all for today. If you’re in Korea right now, have a great Chuseok holiday!